Have your say on the Council’s 2022/23 budget
Allerdale Borough Council is seeking views on its budget for the next financial year.
The council has to set a balanced budget every year. 2022/23 will be the final Allerdale budget ahead of the formation of the new Cumberland Council unitary authority from 1 April 2023. However, the council still needs to plan carefully to ensure its finances are as healthy as possible as it transitions to the new unitary authority.
Therefore, the council’s focus for 2022/23 will be on continuing to deliver effective and efficient front-line services as it responds to the pandemic and prepares for reorganisation. The council will also ensure that key projects and programmes like the longer-term regeneration schemes in Maryport and Workington make good progress.
Making operational efficiencies and increasing the amount of income it raises plays an important part in balancing the budget. Whether or not to make changes to Council Tax is a key decision facing the council especially as it relies more on its own income streams to fund services.
Although an average Band D bill in the borough is currently £2,033.03 a year, only £179.72 of that pays for services provided by Allerdale Borough Council - or just around 9% of the total bill. This equates to a little over £3 a week, or 49p a day. The rest of the bill goes towards services provided by Cumbria County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner and local town and parish councils.
Whilst no decisions have been made, the council is consulting on whether to increase council tax by £5 a year on a Band D property, with proportionate rises for other bands. This equates to about 10p a week extra on a Band D property. A Band A property would see an increase of around £3.33 a year, or just 6p a week.
A £5 increase equates to a rise of just 2.78% for all Council Tax-payers at a time when inflation is running at around 5%. It would raise a further £155k to help provide council services.
The council will continue to provide the Council Tax Support Payment which is available for those who are eligible and are struggling to pay their bill.
The council is therefore asking for views on whether or not to increase Council Tax. Responses can be made online via the consultation website . Residents can also request a hard copy version via the customer service team by calling 0303 123 1702.
Cllr Colin Sharpe, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for finance, said: “I really do encourage people to have their say on this budget consultation. I fully appreciate that for many residents they are feeling the pinch financially. However, I also know that many people need the vital services we provide. I’d like to stress that no decisions have been made on Council Tax for next year. Therefore, it is really important that people and local organisations do give us their views to help us come to a conclusion.”
All responses must be received by midnight on 10 January 2022.